Spanish Orange

Spain is, of course, well known for its oranges. I think it’s fair to say that there is a surfeit of oranges in Spain. There are so many that, at this time of year, the going rate for a 5kg sack of juicing oranges from the street vendors in Jalón is a mere 2€. Well, 1.99€, to be exact. There are so many oranges around that they all but give them away.

Not all the Spanish oranges are limited to fruit, however. Though our balcony faces south, the valley before us runs more or less east-west and this morning, looking east towards the hills that front Benissa, it looked as if the sky was on fire. Yesterday morning had been pretty spectacular, too. There’s little point my trying to describe it; I’ll just let a picture or two try and do the job.

We are both playing with new toys at the moment. Francine has invested in the new Canon mirrorless full frame camera, the EOS R, whilst I’ve gone completely off the rails and am trying the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mk2, also mirrorless but a micro 4/3rds body. I’ll refrain from comparisons at this point because the main subject is the sunrise. Francine likes to do more impressionist renditions so here, first, is a straight shot (cropped a little) out of the Olympus and then an ICM shot out of Francine’s Canon. [The Olympus is so different to drive that I haven’t yet figured out how to do impressionistic, anyway.]


Coffee and sunrise fun and games over, we sallied forth to Calpe to visit a travel agent. Prior to leaving England, Francine had booked tickets for a Van Gogh exhibition in Madrid. This is a projected images show similar to those that we are familiar with in the Carrières de Lumières in the former bauxite mines near Les Baux de Provence, where our last show had been Klimt et Vienne. The venue not being a bauxite mine but a building, Madrid will be a little different but it’s a darn good excuse to go. We wanted a travel agent to sort out the best train tickets for a 3-day visit. A lady in Gandia Travel was very helpful and we have allocated seats travelling between Alicante and Madrid, hopefully on the high-speed train. Now we’ll just have to figure out the parking at Alicante station.

Returning from Calpe, there were a couple of dragonflies posing on rocks near the ford in Jalón. Pushing my photographic luck for the second time in one day, I decided to try one of the E-M1’s tricks: in-camera focus stacking. Set correctly, it will take 8 shots rapidly (in about ½ sec), automatically changing the focus point slightly between each shot, then stacking them together in a composite. I must’ve lucked out. Almost unbelievably, this first shot is the result of the 8-shot sequence hand-held. Just for comparison, beside it is one of the individual picture, focused on the abdomen, to show the effect of the focus-stacking. (Note the wing tips. If I wobble too much, being hand-held, the stacking fails but the IBIS seems pretty amazing.)


That’s too much luck for one day. We quit while we were ahead.

Posted in 2018-2019 Winter

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